One of the most common plumbing problems facing homeowners everywhere is lurking in the depths of your pipes. No, I’m not talking about hungry, homicidal clowns; I’m talking about clogged drains.
Drain maintenance definitely isn’t the sexiest of the home maintenance tasks on your yearly list of chores, but it’s essential to keep your pipes flowing. Every year, homeowners decide to take a short cut by using one of the many DIY drain cleaning techniques.
Unfortunately, these DIY drain cleaning methods can actually be extremely destructive, often resulting in damage that requires a professional plumber to fix.
Don’t Do These DIY Drain Cleaning Techniques!
Chemical Drain Cleaners
First on the list are the chemical drain cleaners that you can buy at the grocery store or hardware store. Whether it’s Drano, Liquid Plumr, or any of the other options, it’s important to remember this: Drain Cleaners Aren’t for Every Clog!
The caustic chemicals used to make these plumbing products are incredibly toxic to just about everything. Beside their toxicity, these chemical drain cleaners can also cause some pretty serious chemical reactions, resulting in intense damage to your pipes, plumbing system, and yourself, if you’re not careful.
With serious clogs, chemical drain cleaners only act as a Band-Aid. Oftentimes, this just temporarily softens and shifts the clog deeper down into your pipes, intensifying the problem. The chemical reaction from these drain cleaners (especially when different cleaners are mixed) creates heat and pressure inside the pipes. Without any release, the heat and pressure builds up and can result in damaged pipes or even a pretty significant explosion.
If you have plastic or PVC pipes and joints, or if the seals aren’t tight, the chemicals can wreak havoc on your plumbing. So, unless you want to repair or replace large sections of your plumbing, call the professional plumbers first.
One of the worst homemade drain cleaners, and this is really something people think will work, is coffee grounds. Yes, coffee grounds. We can’t make this stuff up! The good news is that with DIY techniques like this, there’s no way we’ll ever go out of business.
Pouring coffee grounds down the drain opening of a clogged up kitchen sink will not clear the clog. If it doesn’t get trapped in your garbage disposal (causing even more damage) the fine grains of the coffee grounds combine with all of the other materials in your pipes. In no time, your clog has doubled or even tripled in size.
Please, if you’re considering pouring coffee grounds down your drain to clear a clog… Don’t! Call a professional.
Cola and Mentos
If you remember back to your elementary school science lessons, then you’ll remember that cola and Mentos have an explosive relationship. Well, for some reason, someone thought there was a better use for that bottle of coke and bag of Mentos than making a rocket ship: clearing a clogged drain.
When dropping a few Mentos into a two liter bottle of coke the reaction causes immediate carbonation, resulting in a geyser of coke shooting out the bottle. Typically, we’re making a volcano or a rocket ship in this experiment, but now people got the uniquely terrible idea of using it in their plumbing.
This is a really bad idea for two specific reasons. First, the phosphoric acid in Coca-Cola is strong enough to decay the enamel and dentin in our teeth, the hardest substances in our bodies, and it does it in no time.
Second, the mess. Even if you manage to point the bottle down your drain before it bursts, the pressure isn’t enough to blow a clog away. Instead, it’ll hit the clog and then bounce back, spraying you and your bathroom with a nasty mixture of coke, Mentos, and whatever is clogging up your drain.
Best case scenario is it does nothing. Worst case, you’re spending 45 minutes cleaning up the sticky sloppy mess… and your drain is still clogged.
Invest in Regular Drain Cleaning Services
If you suffer from any of the symptoms of a clogged drain, then it’s time to call the professionals. It can be tempting to try DIY drain cleaning methods, but you run the risk of damaging your pipes. The professional plumbers here at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing can help.
Invest in clean pipes and a healthy sewer system with regular drain cleaning services. Call us today at 810-207-6268 or request an appointment right here. You can get even more helpful tips and tricks for your plumbing problems by checking out our blog. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with our latest news and deals!